EghtesadOnline: Indian refiners are increasingly optimistic on winning another round of waiver to continue buying Iranian oil, at reduced levels, as New Delhi has put forward a strong case to Washington that it will not be able to afford zero Iranian crude, delegates attending a three-day petroleum conference in New Delhi said.
With New Delhi working on an alternative payment method for shipping in Iranian oil, Indian state-run refiners are hoping that they might have to replace only a part of their Iranian purchases with cargoes from other origins. They may not have to completely stop purchases, when the first six-month waiver expires, S&P Global Platts reported.
"The market expects an extension of the US waiver, with some volumes being cut. Let's wait and watch how things turn out at the diplomatic level," Emkay Global Financial Services' senior oil and gas analyst Sabri Hazarika said.
Delegates said that while private refiners Reliance and Nayara had largely stayed away from buying Iranian oil, most Indian state-run refiners were still going ahead with their planned purchases despite uncertainty over whether they would manage to get a waiver extension, Financial Tribune reported.
While state-run Indian Oil Corp. had plans to ship in up to 5 million barrels in the first two months of the year, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. is likely to aim for 2 million barrels in February, down 1 million barrels from January.
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. are expected to take 1 million barrels each in February, oil ministry sources said.
"We are discussing the possibility of nominating vessels for Iranian crude for March, before the expiry of the US waiver, but nothing has been finalized," one official at a state-run refiner said.